Alcoholism News With The Military

Check this alcoholism news story out.  It only took the military until 2009 to finally admitt soldiers aren’t perfect and suffer from the same mental illnesses as the rest of us.  I think this is unbelieveable that they haven’t admitted this before now, I mean hell they admitted back in the 40’s that people were’t crazy and didn’t belong in sanitariums with the white jackets on, that the general public could be diagnosed as alcoholic.  Come on 2009!  I wonder how long it’s going to take them to come up with help to the military about cocaine abuse? 

“The military does recognize there are increasing problems with alcohol,” said Jolee Darnell, the clinical director and regional coordinator for the Army Substance Abuse Program at Fort Lewis. “That’s why they’re putting this program in place.”

Meetings with counselors will be scheduled after normal duty hours at the old Madigan complex. Notes in a soldier’s medical file will be accessible only under limited conditions, such as with the person’s consent, a court order, or if he or she represents an imminent danger to self or others.

More than 10,400 soldiers across the Army were referred to alcohol-abuse treatment from October 2008 to June 2009, according to the Pentagon. The Army treated 12,590 during the previous 12-month period.

At Fort Lewis, 475 soldiers are now receiving some kind of substance-abuse treatment, with 60 percent battling alcohol abuse, Darnell said.

Read full story here~~>> Military Testing Alcoholism Treatment

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7 thoughts on “Alcoholism News With The Military

  1. The US military has a long history of squashing news that contradicts the image it has been projecting. But I guess as institutions go, that’s not so unusual. The difference, of course, is that these people are expected to die for us – and deserve so much more!

    From the article, I don’t know how these changes will affect the kinds of treatment the vets will get, or if the programs I’ve been involved in will change. I do know that the stigma associated with addiction is very strong within the vet community.

    I think that may have something to do with the image of being pot smoking, heroin addicted, baby killers that those coming back from Nam had to deal with. That may also be why the military had been so tight lipped.

    They probably thought that it made no sense to shine more light on what was already a very ugly scene. 😐

  2. I was thinking that they probably didn’t want to shine more light on a subject that essentially we don’t really know how to deal with or even what to think about it. The Vets deserve so much and they get so little, it’s actually quite upsetting for me. My Dad served time in Nam, and he’s never received anything for that time served. As a matter of fact now at the end of life you’d think that someone, somewhere would have the funds to help him financially when it comes to medical treatment but alas, he goes it alone. But anytime he has wanted help for his alcoholism, you know in that small part of his heart, want some way to get out of the vicious cycle and have someone take care of him for a change and TEACH him how to live life without it, they just always say the same thing, “Well let me get you AA’s number” or “You can find the numbers to AA to help you find some meetings in your area.” Boy that took a lot of funds to help treat him there, huh?
    I don’t know, I guess I just think that something should be happening ever so quickly as we are going to be having A LOT of Vets coming home pretty soon. And I guess I just think that it should’ve happened a long time ago. But I’m young and don’t really know the behind the scenes politics about this.

    • I was thinking that they probably didn’t want to shine more light on a subject that essentially we don’t really know how to deal with or even what to think about it.

      I couldn’t agree more. But doesn’t the same confusion apply to the country as a whole?

      My Dad served time in Nam, and he’s never received anything for that time served…

      Your Dad is just as eligible for VA medical and substance abuse treatment as I am. I know that he’s probably not much concerned about the substance abuse treatment part, but his eligibility for medical treatment is absolute and not dependent on whether or not he has a “service connected” condition. Those limits only come into play when it comes to non-critical care. Shame on anyone who’s told you otherwise.

      In my case I’ve let my pride in not wanting to look “weak” in the eyes of other vets, and a desire not to “waste” resources others might need more, get in the way of seeking help from the VA that they are contractually bound to provide. Your Dad sounds like a proud man… I know that my Dad never sought the help he needed, and ended up dying in a VA hospital after being taken there when he was to far gone to be helped. Sad.

      As for the general politics and preparing for what’s ahead, I think they’ll continue to procrastinate and debate and then do what they always do – make it up as they go. 😐

      • You make two very good statements there. Ya our country sure as hell is mass confusion!
        And #2…ya I guess he’s a proud man but even more he’s talked to me before about his fear of the VA hospital around where he lives, he told me the first time he walked in and saw the rat, he walked out!

        • Wow, a rat! Really? I know my Dad was really reluctant to go, and maybe that’s why! I’d thought it was just hospitals in general, but he never actually said that… 😐

          • I had to ask really when he told me also. I keep telling him to try and find another hospital nearby, that can’t be the only one! And they all can’t possibly be like that.

  3. I’ve not seen anything like that at the VA facilities I’ve been to, but my experience is limited to 2 outpatient clinics and 3 hospitals. I don’t count the one my Dad died in because I was only 14 and too freaked out for anything but him to really stick in my mind.

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